The install of the 4 Sanyo 240 watt panels with two Tri Star 45 converters is complete. Each converter connected to two panels in series. One set of panels stopped working yesterday, but I think that it was just a connector that needed attention. It works today, after fiddling a bit with the connectors. The reason for choosing two Tri Star 45's over one Outback 80 was redundancy.
I am very satisfied so far. We have 800 Ah house batteries and I haven't run the generator
in a month, although it is summer in the Bahamas
. We did not even use shore power
at the marina in Florida
before leaving, except for A/C. I probably could get by with less solar
power as the typical amperage called for to charge each day is about 40 amps maximum, (20 per controler). I don't know if this is operating properly yet, but it seems to fully charge each day. (I am still wondering why it only charges using 450 watts, 225 per controller, when it could charge at twice that rate in full sunshine.) I am looking forward to seeing how the panels perform when we have many cloudy/stormy days in a row. I may just turn off the solar panels
for a day or two just to see what the charging
rates are when the batteries get down to <25%. After living on an O'Day 35 for 2 years, struggling to keep the 200 Ah house battery
charged, with some solar, wind
, and mostly just running the engine
, pure solar seems like the way to go. So much less noise
and trouble. The physical installation
was done by Certified Marine Electric
in Stuart Florida
, although I told him the panels and controllers that I wanted. I also specified how I wanted the panels mounted so that they were in line with the SS horizontal pipe. Certified ME subcontracted the metal work with a local welder that ended up being more expensive than we originally thought. The final assembly still required us to provide some more support to the Bimini, with diagonal 1" SS pipe pieces, but overall I was happy with the way the panels were mounted.